by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
In a battle of light heavyweights, hard-hitting Nebraska native Houston Alexander will return to action on May 23 to face Capoeira expert Andre Gusmao at UFC 98. The bout was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday with sources close to both fighters’ camps.
Since making a big impact in his debut fight against Keith Jardine, Alexander was looked at as a major prospect for the UFC’s growing 205-pound weight class. Unfortunately, he has fallen on tough times, losing his last three fights in a row, with his most recent defeat coming at the hands of Eric Schafer in September of 2007.
Always willing to bring action to his fights, Alexander is in need of a win in his next fight to secure a place in the stacked light heavyweight division.
His opponent, Andre Gusmao, is a Capoeira and jiu-jitsu fighter who trains primarily out of Renzo Gracie’s academy in New York City. A former member of Gracie’s Pitbulls team for the International Fight League, Gusmao was a top talent picked up by the UFC, but his first fight resulted in a loss to Jon Jones in August 2008.
Gusmao was set to return in January against Tomasz Drwal, but unforeseen circumstances forced him out of the bout and pushed back to this May showdown against Alexander.
It’s unknown at this time if the fight between Alexander and Gusmao will be a featured bout or on the untelevised undercard.
Currently UFC 98 is headlined with a welterweight showdown between rivals Matt Serra and Matt Hughes, but a rumored title bout could be inked for UFC 98 pitting Frank Mir against Brock Lesnar to unify the UFC heavyweight crown.